Background Checks: The ABCs of BCA DataPublished Dec 14, 2017
Learn appropriate ways for the city to access the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) criminal history information database. Understand what will and will not be included in results. This memo links to a model policy meeting requirements for using the database for non-criminal purposes such as employment background and license checks.
City Employees and Military LeavePublished Jan 4, 2018
Learn about state and federal laws providing employment-related protections and benefits to employees who are called to military service, whether in the reserves or on active duty. Examples include paid and unpaid leave, re-employment and seniority rights, and insurance coverage. Understand the responsibilities of both the employer and the employee.
Conflict ResolutionPublished Nov 22, 2017
Learn ways to constructively resolve interpersonal conflict in the city workplace by negotiating solutions, the effects of unresolved conflict and sources for assistance if first resolution attempts fail.
Continuation of BenefitsPublished Feb 5, 2018
Learn how federal, state, and retiree continuation requirements for health, dental, flexible spending accounts, and employee assistance programs apply when offering benefit continuation for your employees.
Drug and Alcohol Testing Toolkit for the City WorkplacePublished Jan 25, 2018
Learn options for testing employees for drug and alcohol use under Minnesota law, including the Medical Cannabis Act, and about required testing under federal Department of Transportation regulations. Discusses what to do about use, possession, and impaired employee performance in the workplace while avoiding employment discrimination prohibitions. Red toolkit icons mark links to model notices, testing policies and easy-reference charts to personnel actions based on test results.
Employee or Independent Contractor? The Legal Implications and RamificationsPublished Jul 25, 2017
Find out the factors to look at in making the determination of whether a worker you hire should be treated as an employee or an independent contractor. Your decision can have far-reaching financial consequences for the city, including workers compensation liability, unemployment insurance penalties, Fair Labor Standards Act obligations, and more.
Employee Probationary PeriodsPublished Dec 28, 2017
Understand the risks and rewards of establishing a probationary period for employees in your city. Find practice pointers for avoiding legal pitfalls, how to document performance, establish standards, and deal with special categories of probationary employees such as veterans.
Employment-Related Important Dates and RemindersPublished Dec 26, 2017
A calendar of important dates related to compensation, benefits and other HR areas, for city employees, HR specialists and city officials with human resources duties. Find reminders of required dates to notify employees of current PERA, Social Security and Medicare contribution rates, maximum deferred compensation amounts, projected dates to implement state and federal rules on compensation such as minimum wage and overtime requirements, when to file OSHA and other forms, and much more.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Determining Exempt vs. Non-Exempt StatusPublished Jun 29, 2017
Learn how to determine which employees are covered (non-exempt employee) and which employees are not covered (exempt employees) under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Understand the tests for duties that qualify an employee as exempt and become familiar with general definitions and guidelines of this law.
Fair Labor Standards Act: An OverviewPublished Aug 8, 2016
Describes the most common employee protections under this federal law requiring a minimum wage, and overtime compensation for extra hours worked under the Act. Understand city responsibilities for record keeping, child labor standards, how to define a workweek, and when you may offer compensatory time off in place of paid overtime.
Fair Labor Standards Act: Police and Fire EmployeesPublished Mar 20, 2017
Learn about special issues in applying the FLSA to police and fire employees such as the option to define an extended workweek, FLSA application to small departments, different ceilings on accrual of compensatory time, and rules for volunteer versus paid on-call fighters.
Family And Medical Leave Act Published Sep 15, 2017
Federal law requires covered employers to allow a certain amount of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for reasons relating to family and medical care. Find out if you are a covered employer, the eligible uses of the leave, and which employees are eligible. Links to a model FMLA leave policy. Learn basics of the related Minnesota Pregnancy and Parenting Leave law.
Governors Salary CapPublished Dec 5, 2017
Local governments cannot pay employees more than 110 percent of the governor’s salary without a waiver from the state. State statute and attorney general opinions have discussed the inclusion of overtime, vacation/sick time, deferred compensation, insurance contributions, pensions, and car allowances in the calculation of an employee’s salary.
Hiring A City Manager or Administrator ToolkitPublished Oct 10, 2016
Learn the steps to take in hiring a city manager or administrator, including how to manage interim time, whether or not to use a search consultant, setting position qualifications and attracting, interviewing and offering positions to candidates. Red toolkit icons mark links to sample position descriptions, job postings, evaluation score sheets, and other tools used in the hiring process.
IRS Audits of City Payroll: Payroll PandemoniumPublished Aug 7, 2017
Prepare for a potential IRS audit or compliance check by learning about common problematic issues for cities such as expense reimbursements, fringe benefits and payroll issues like social security and Medicare wages for police and fire employees, social security for elected officials and tax treatment for common health insurance issues.
Local Government Pay Equity Act: An OverviewPublished Nov 17, 2017
Learn about Minnesota law requirements to analyze city employee pay structure for evidence of gender inequity. How to use a job evaluation system to determine the comparable work value of each employee class. State requirements for a pay equity implementation report. Maintaining equitable pay relationships; effects of noncompliance.
Management of Personnel FilesPublished Nov 16, 2017
Various state and federal laws require employers to keep certain information, or data, about employees. Find out what records should be in a personnel file, and which should be in other special types of files. Learn which personnel information is public and which is protected.
PaychecksPublished Nov 17, 2017
Understand state law requirements for payment of wages such as methods of payment, permitted and prohibited deductions, how to handle final paychecks including payment for earned vacation or paid time off. Learn what types of compensation are considered wages, and which compensation information is public.
Physical Ability Tests for City EmployeesPublished Aug 17, 2016
Find out the legal and practical issues cities should consider when deciding to use a physical ability test to make any type of employment decision, including hiring or continued employment. Understand the differences between physical ability testing and medical examinations. Links to a model applicant waiver.
Police Department Management and Liability IssuesPublished Jan 6, 2016
Understand special management challenges for city police department personnel. Reviews hiring, discipline, and termination considerations. Discusses special working condition considerations such as scheduling, physical fitness standards, working with unions, and fitness-for-duty examinations. Lists concerns in regulating off-duty conduct and off-duty employment (moonlighting). Find information on selected police liability issues.
Reasonable Accommodations in the City WorkplacePublished Jan 20, 2016
Federal and state laws prohibit city employers from discriminating against any qualified individual with a disability because of that disability. Review these laws, find definitions of key terms and understand both employer and employee obligations about reasonable accommodations so employees can perform the essential functions of their jobs.
Veterans Preference in Discipline, Discharge, or Job EliminationPublished Nov 17, 2017
Learn about the legal protections cities must provide to employees who are qualified veterans in the event of discipline, such as suspension or layoff, discharge from employment, or job elimination. Links to a model layoff notice and a termination letter.
Veterans Preference in HiringPublished Feb 15, 2018
Learn about the state law requiring cities to award preference to veterans for most open, competitive employment positions. Understand the preference system and how to apply it in your city's hiring process.
Workforce Planning ToolkitPublished Apr 19, 2016
Learn how to plan for projected workforce shortages associated with the retirement of the Baby Boomers, including different ways to do jobs, updated recruitment efforts and employment policies, and coping with the loss of organizational knowledge. Red toolkit icons mark links to model forms, checklists, policies, surveys, and other planning aids.